Heavy Baggage


Stefany Anne Golberg believes contemporary backpackers overpack:

We can see our souls in the contents of our baggage. Pack too much and we risk being weighed down by the place we’re trying to leave. Pack too little and we risk losing ourselves.

In the 1960s, backpackers left as much as they could behind in order to release themselves from the burden of self. Now backpackers take as much as they can take in order to be self-sufficient. In the ’60s, the backpacker’s quest was to remove everything — often one’s self-understanding, one’s identity — to access something pure. Today, backpackers want to assert their identity across national boundaries with the help of the things they own.

(Photo by Garry Knight)